Robert Larsen was a colorful and self-defeating romantic, envisioning himself as a sort of Percival delivered just short of his Grail. Born to Raymond and Alice Larsen on April 8th, 1946 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He would grow up in Minneapolis attending Catholic schools, excelling in school and playing sports.
In 1968, He and his wife, Kathleen (Schoenecker) Larsen would move to southern California, where the couple would live in the San Bernardino, area as Robert (Bob) pursued his Ph.D. in Economics. Sidestepping the then active draft, he pursued teaching and his first position at the University of Utah at Salt Lake City. Bob taught in the Economics department there until 1979. He was irascible, young and counter-cultural in an obviously staid, conservative environment like the Mormon heartland. He was a favorite with students and colleagues but wore hard with politics of the Department.
His divorce in 1979 would find him rudderless, moving first to Nevada to teach in Reno and ultimately returning to Minneapolis and the comfort of familiarity and family. He gave up teaching to pursue writing in the early ’80s. Not long later, Bob estranged himself from his family. He gave up his day job to follow a paper trail of lawyers and corporate finance against a brooding patent issue and tilting further at abstruse windmills.
Ultimately, living on credit cards and often sleeping in his car, he ultimately found his way to Laramie, WY, where he died at hotel room writing desk in May of 1993 at the age of 47. At the end he had little more than a library card, a hotel room, and a group of 3 x 5 note cards.
- Article, “Final Notes” archived at Morning Red poetry publication. 1999
- Review of ‘Final Notes’ and debate at: Jacket Magazine, 1999.